19/10/2012 -The OECD has launched an online portal to give consumers, businesses and governments quick and easy access to the latest information on products recalled from the market in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.
The portal, http://globalrecalls.oecd.org, is designed to promote and improve product safety. Deaths and injuries worldwide from unsafe products are estimated to cost more than USD 1 trillion each year, according to the OECD.
Consumers will be able to check whether a product, such as a baby bottle or a bicycle, they plan to buy in a store or online has been taken off shelves in another country. Businesses, such as importers or retailers, will be able to react quickly and pull products as soon as concerns arise.
The portal will also help improve co-ordination among regulators and governments so that dangerous products can be removed from sale and enforcement stepped up.
Speaking at the launch in Brussels during the International Product Safety Week, OECD Deputy Secretary-General Rintaro Tamaki said: “The past decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of product recalls. With ever more sophisticated and globalised supply chains in international trade, it’s more vital than ever that governments co-operate and respond quickly to issues as they arise. The portal will play a key role in facilitating co-operation and information sharing.”
“In our global marketplace and interconnected world, information sharing is key,” said Ms. Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Providing consumers in different jurisdictions with access to recall information from another country will empower them and advance the cause of safety.”
Many governments regularly publish product safety recalls on their own websites but the OECD portal offers a single access point and makes the information available in more than 100 languages. Other jurisdictions are encouraged to join the initiative.